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Dormouse drama
Along the Tonbridge toUPM Tilhill has created a
Hastings Line at Scrag’s Oak,haven for dormice alongside a
near Wadhurst, a hazel-rich400 metre stretch of Kent’s rail
environment was noted for itsnetwork near Wadhurst, East
potential as a desirable dor-Sussex.
The endangered hazel dor- mouse habitat.
mouse (Muscardinus avella- ‘Safety is the priority when
narius) is declining in number maintaining the lineside envi-
and it looks like the rail industry ronment and at Scrag’s Oak it
has woken up to the challenge was clear that much of the veg-
with a vengeance. The project is etation along the area’s steep
part of UPM Tilhill’s work for banks would need to be
Network Rail ensuring top class removed to ensure clear sightGatwick Express train hosts
trackside vegetation manage- lines for train operatives.Simone Forzani and Karl Hughes at
ment across Kent, Sussex and of However, Network Rail fullyBrighton station with the first of the
south-east London. supported our recommenda-refurbished class 442 Gatwick Express trains.
Over the last eighteen tions to maintain the hazel-
months staff have created rich environment higher up the
numerous additional habitats banks which we felt would be
Airport flyer
for bats, badgers and a variety attractive to dormice – a much-
of reptiles in areas where, for loved but sadly endangered
safety reasons, clearance of species in the UK,’ says Andrea.
becomes Brighton Belle
lineside undergrowth is imper- Under the guidance of Ken
ative. Andrea Gannon, rail West, President of the Kent
ecologist, routinely carries out Mammal Group, Andrea and
environmental surveys of colleagues have installed tubes
areas earmarked for clearance. and breeding boxes on the site.
From Monday 15th December 2008 the will be phased in to help provide the The interiors of the Class 442 trains have
world famous Gatwick Express will run new service. To begin with three of the been redesigned with both commuters
through to Brighton during the morning six extended services will have the and airport passengers in mind. The trains
and evening peaks providing extra reconditioned trains, and, shortly after, offer generous luggage space, together
services for beleaguered commuters. the remaining three reconditioned with comfortable seating, and dedicated
Newly reconditioned Class 442 trains trains will be phased in. wheelchair spaces.
Art auction for Mount Vernon
Railway contractor, Giffen brating its centenary in 2009 an exhibition in April 2009 Says Giffen Group Chairman
Group, has teamed up with with a series of fund raising when judges drawn from Jo Giffen, ‘We have been based
Oaklands College, to raise initiatives for its adopted Oaklands, Giffen Group and in St. Albans since 1909 and
funds for The Cancer charity, CTRT. Conical will decide the six best wanted to theme our Centenary
Treatment and Research Trust In this instance, with the pieces. The selected artwork with a series of original fund
Appeal at Mount Vernon help of Oaklands College art will then be auctioned at raising initiatives for charity.’
Hospital, Middlesex. students, Giffen Group is com- Giffen Group’s Centenary Party Giffen has been involved with
Both Oaklands and Giffen missioning six pieces of origi- to be held in the summer of the rail industry and the
Group are based in nearby St. nal artwork. The students will 2009, with all proceeds going London Underground since the
Albans. Giffen Group, is cele- have their work displayed at to the CTRT. 1960s.
The first Austrian railways ÖBB stream as the winter timetable
Railjet cleared
Railjet, a new high speed train cuts in. The Railjet is fast and
scheduled for service on the more spacious. Rail chiefs plan
Budapest-Vienna-Munich route, to run trains every two hours
to taxi
has been on show at Budapest. on the route using the 23-train
The new service comes on strong fleet.
RMT recognition
Heathrow Express has signed sentation. The signing of the
a recognition agreement with recognition agreement sig-
the RMT. nals the beginning of a pro-
The agreement recognises ductive working relationship
RMT for consultation and with the RMT. I welcome their
negotiation purposes. Brian involvement and positive
Raven, managing director of contribution to the ongoing
Heathrow Express, said, ‘The success of Heathrow
decision to recognise RMT Express.’
ensures the integrity of our RMT general secretary Bob
union representation pro- Crow said, ‘I would like to
cess. As a growing number of place on record my thanks to
Heathrow Express employees all those who have helped in
are RMT members, today’s getting us where are today,ustria.
announcement demon- not least our Heathrow
ailjet in Lo
ÖBB r strates our commitment to Express members them-
ensuring appropriate repre- selves.’
December 2008 | RailStaff | 25
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